By Nick Gradney
The Louisiana Purge protected their territory by going 3-0 during pool play on Saturday. With wins against every other team in 10U, Louisiana Purge set themselves up as the top seed in the entire bracket. They will get a rematch with MOJO, who were their toughest opponent to start things off on Championship Sunday.
Team MOJO finished with a perfect record in Saturday, earning the top spot in 12U. MOJO are clear favorites to win it all. They are a high powered offense, complimented by a stingy defense that only allowed 2 points from a turnover on downs. They lead everybody with a total of 90 points scored through 3 games, which is also 15 more points than the next best effort. Although it’s “any given Sunday”, It would be a real upset if they lost to anybody in 12U.
The 14U bracket may very well be the most competitive age group of the entire Road To The Crown (Ruston, LA) tournament. There are 4 undefeated teams – The U Elite (1), New Orleans Dolphins GBG (2), Trojans (3) and CM Naturals (4) are all serious contenders to take home the trophy. Although they aren’t the top seed, The Trojans have probably been the most unexpected out of the bunch. They have 2 twenty point+ wins in pool play which is quite impressive. While The U Elite and New Orleans Dolphins GBG have breezed through the competition as well, the CM Naturals had much more closer games but it also means they are battle tested. Expect everyone to be on their A game, including some of the 2-loss teams who could’ve came out on top in several games.
The top seeded 318 Hotboyz Black Ops made quick work of all 3 teams they faced in 15U on Saturday. They have two 40 piece nuggets on their résumé, and one of them was a near 50 burger to open the tournament. The Hotboyz are hungry and arguably the best team on any level that’s in the Ruston tournament. They’ll have a few teams in the way of the crown – CM Naturals, Jack Boyz, MOJO & the New Orleans Dolphins are formidable potential opponents. There’s no way around it, The Hotboyz will have to run the gauntlet by beating multiple of those teams aforementioned.
Time for the big boys! The competition in 18U was very solid on Saturday. It wasn’t much separation between majority of the teams which is exciting because it could be anybody, as well as an unlikely winner. In 18U alone, there are a dozen teams with a winning record and keep in mind they only play 3 games in pool play Saturdays. The CM Naturals are the #1 seed and tied for most points scored (w/ 318 Hotboyz Black Ops 15U) but The Bootleggers North are right behind with 94 total points. The Bootleggers have several teams of different ages in the Ruston, LA tournament but this is clearly the group with the best chance of taking home some hardware. You can’t sleep on the NTX Eagles Elite from Dallas, Texas, Mississippi Speed Red, MOJO and many others. Championship Sunday is set up real nice to be a memorable one.